Business Setup in Mainland: How to setup a business in Dubai and How much does a Dubai Mainland license cost?

Mainland Business Registration in UAE

Dubai is considered as a land of innovation and success for aspiring entrepreneurs. It offers you good infrastructure, better connectivity & freedom to start and operate business. Although it offers you many opportunities but business setup in mainland takes a lot of time, energy & efforts. Here is step by step description of the procedure for the entrepreneurs who want business setup in Dubai Mainland.


For all the trade and business registered on Dubai mainland Department of Economic Development is the authority. DED gives permission for more than 2000 business activities on Dubai mainland. These activities are classified into Group, class and sub class. Selection ofan activity from this classified group is very important because the form of business license is directly depends on business activity.


After deciding business activity next step is selecting a matching business form for desired business. This is also a very important selection because the legal structure of your business will be based on Business form and you will get license accordingly.


Now give a proper trade name to your business. This name will become identity for your business. It will mention on your license and all official documents. Name should not contain any indecent or offending word. You can’t use god’s name or allah. Read the complete guideline of DED for giving name to your business.


An initial approval certificate from DED will enables you to take next step for business settlement. The best way to apply for initial approval is through authorized document clearing agent. An initial approval certificate is must for obtaining a license. It is valid for six months and you can’t renew it.


Now you can go ahead with drafting of the bylaws of company. Drafting of Memorandum of Association (MOA) or local service agent agreement is an important step. This will define the relationship between you and your local partner.


It’s compulsory for operating & starting a business on Dubai mainland to have a physical address within the mainland commercial area. The number of employment visa a company can apply depends on the size of office and activity of company.


Once you select the work place you need to take an approval from the planning section of Dubai municipality. Municipality will confirm property’s availability, suitability and compliance to public health and safety. Once you get the approval you can sign your tenancy contract with landlord and open an account with Dubai electricity and water authority. The next step is to register your tenancy contract with Ejari for attestation. Ejari is an initiative of Dubai government to regulate relationship between landlord and tenants in Dubai.


Now it’s time to get final approval of license from Department of Economic development. For final submission you need trade name certificate, initial approval certificate, initial approval form with required stamps, Ejari registered tenancy contract, one set of MOA or LSA. The processing can take a week’s time or more depends on business activity. After getting final approval of license you can start your work.

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